Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981 film)
|Lady Chatterley's Lover|
French theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Just Jaeckin|
|Produced by||André Djaoui|
Yoram Globus (executive producer)
Menahem Golan (executive producer)
|Written by||Marc Behm|
|Based on||Lady Chatterley's Lover|
by D. H. Lawrence
|Music by||Richard Harvey|
|Edited by||Eunice Mountjoy|
|Distributed by||Cannon Films (U.S.)|
Columbia Pictures (non-U.S.)
|Budget||$1.5–$2 million (est.) or $3 million|
|Box office||1,134,750 admissions (France)|
After a Great War injury leaves her husband Sir Clifford Chatterley impotent and crippled, his new wife, Constance Chatterley (called Connie) is torn between love for her husband and her own sensual desires. With her husband's consent, even encouragement, even to the point of bearing him an heir, she is open to means of fulfilling her physical needs. She clandestinely observes their gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors, washing himself at his hut, and is immediately attracted, and uses that image to masturbate in bed that very evening. As she later approaches him at his hut openly, he shows disdain for her prying, due to class differences, he being a common laborer, and she a middling aristocrat.
A later visit to his hut, ostensibly to view newly hatched birds, she sobs at their condition, and Mellors gently takes her in his arms, whereupon they begin a physical relationship. The physical affair between Connie and Mellors grows into love, and they both desire that she should have his child. Gradually, Sir Clifford begins to suspect the affair. After several more clandestine copulations, the lovers agree that Connie should spend an entire night at his cottage. So she does, and it is on this night that Clifford painfully pulls himself to her upstairs bedroom, only to find an empty bed. When Connie returns to the mansion at daybreak, Sir Clifford awaits her. He is shocked and angry that his wife should descend to bedding a member of the lower classes. He sends his wife off to Venice, and fires Mellors. Connie, discovering that she is pregnant, attempts a return to Sir Clifford, only to be rebuffed, as no child of a commoner shall be an heir of his. But she remains in the mansion, while Mellors awaits the finalization of a divorce from his first wife, who never appears in the film.
- Sylvia Kristel as Lady Constance Chatterley
- Nicholas Clay as Oliver Mellors
- Shane Briant as Sir Clifford Chatterley
- Ann Mitchell as Ivy Bolton
- Elizabeth Spriggs as Lady Eva
- Pascale Rivault as Hilda
- Peter Bennett as The Butler
- Anthony Head as Anton
- Frank Moorey as The Priest
- Bessie Love as Flora
- John Tynan as Roberts
- Michael Huston as Footman
- Fran Hunter as Maid
- Ryan Michael as Gigolo
- Mark Colleano as Gigolo
At one stage, Ken Russell had considered filming the book, but lost the rights. When he heard who was making it he said, "unless the director has turned over a new leaf, Lady Chatterly's Lover is going to be a glossy facile romp in the woods, romp after romp after romp."
Star Kristel said she was "sad that some people may feel" the film was "sort porn. Just Jaeckin and I have been persecuted by this sort porn criticism. I don't want to go through the same nightmare as I did after Emmanuelle."
The film was not as popular as the filmmakers expected and Cannon Films ended up recording a loss. However, the film later became more popular in the home video market in the mid-1980s.
The film is rated R16 in New Zealand.
- Yule, Andrew (1987). Hollywood a Go-Go: an account of the Cannon phenomenon. Sphere Books. pp. 19, 24. ISBN 978-0-7221-9389-1.
- Moses, Antoinette (Fall 1982). "British Production 1981". Sight and Sound. London. 51 (4): 258.
- Sylvia Kristel French box office information[permanent dead link] at Box Office Story
- Mills, Nancy (26 April 1981). "D.H. Lawrence Comes Back in Vogue". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif. p. n3.
- "Lady Chatterley's Lover". Film & Video Labelling Body.